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#57748 - 09/07/00 05:35 PM Toronto: Spanish restaurants, Brian?
rgf Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/20/00
Posts: 666
Loc: New York, New York
Brian-- Do you recommend any Spanish restaurants in Toronto? Once I went to one-- cannot remember, but a good 20 min drive from downtown. Also, have you tried that Portuguese restaurant ciado or something like that? I think the restaurant might have been Casa Barcelona. And, since you work near the Sheraton (I go often), tell me what good places there are to eat near there. Usually we go to Fune or Monsoon, or up to Baldwin to Wa sing for those lobster, or eat at the AGO... THanks! rgf (in Buffalo)

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#57749 - 09/08/00 11:12 AM Re: Toronto: Spanish restaurants, Brian?
Brian Goldthorp Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 43
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hi, rgf -

I've been to two Spanish restaurants here. One is not too far from where I live, so I go maybe 3-4 times a year. It is called Segovia and is at 5 St. Nicholas Street. St. Nicholas is a small street (really an alleyway in parts) that is one block west of Yonge Street and starts at Wellesley, so if you were going by subway from the Sheraton you would get on at Queen at get off at Wellesley. Oh, and the food? It's good but not spectactular. They have a few of the usual tapas (chorizo, queso manchego, tortilla) and pretty good paella (three kinds, I think) and a few other things. Really good wine list, too, with lots of riojas. They also have had a spanish guitarist playing on one occasion - I don't know if that is a regular event or not.

The other one I've been to, and actually prefer, is a tapas bar called - how original - Tapas. It is at 226 Carlton St, near Parliament St. You'd take the subway to College St and then the streetcar east to Parliament. (Carlton and College are the same street, it just changes name at Yonge Street to confuse the tourists.) The tapas at Tapas are really good, and there is a very large selection. In fact, all they have apart from tapas is paella and one other seafood dish. They don't go in for wines to the same extent as Segovia, if I remember correctly. Specializing in tapas, they have a bigger list of jerez and cervesa. It's a fairly small place, with two levels. We were seated in the downstairs once, and weren't too happy thinking it was the "Siberia" area, but it was fabulous because it turned out that's where the "dance floor" (actually the aisle between the tables!) was and people started dancing (with the waiters, with the bartenders, with each other) to Spanish music. They also do that thing with the wineskin where the waiter comes around to each table and gets you to drink from it, you know, with the wine being squirted at you from three feet away. A wee bit touristy, but fun if you're in the mood! Also a good way to get about two glass of wine for free very quickly!!

There is another tapas bar downtown on Adelaide near Spadina, that just opened up this year. I haven't been yet and don't know the name, but I will check over there (it's about a ten minute walk from the office) at lunch one day soon and let you know.

There is also a restaurant called Xango, at the corner of Adelaide and John, which isn't Spanish but more of a Latin-fusion place. I've heard it's excellent, although pricey.

Casa Barcelona - I checked in the phone book, and it is at 2980 Bloor St W. which is quite far out in the west end and would be 20 minutes or more from downtown. I've never heard anything about it.

Also in the phone book, there is a Chaido Restaurant at 864 College, which would be right in the Little Portugal area so that's probably the one you mean.

Fune, Monsoon etc - I will e-mail you with some other downtown dining suggestions, so we don't clutter the board with non-Spanish chat!

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#57750 - 09/08/00 02:57 PM Re: Toronto: Spanish restaurants, Brian?
Brian Goldthorp Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 43
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Well, the rain stopped so I walked over to the tapas bar on Adelaide St during my lunch hour. It is called Picante Tapas Bar. It's on the north side of Adelaide between Widmer and Peter Streets - you might be more familiar with Spadina Avenue, which is one block further west of Peter.

I looked at the menu in the window - they have about ten cold and ten hot tapas, as well as three paellas. The hot tapas were the usual - chorizo, tortilla, gambas, etc, but some of the cold ones were cheating a bit in my opinion - they were really just small salads. They must be hedging their bets with the rest of the menu too, because they also offered some pasta dishes and a few other non-Spanish items.



[This message has been edited by Brian Goldthorp (edited 09-08-2000).]

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#57751 - 09/08/00 07:00 PM Re: Toronto: Spanish restaurants, Brian?
rgf Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/20/00
Posts: 666
Loc: New York, New York
Pasta at a tapas bar!? onnnnk! Think I'll stick with the other TAPAS place you recommend. I've always wanted to try Xango. OK, all you non-Toronto-based folk, tell us what Spanish restaurants you like in Boston, NYC, etc!

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#57752 - 09/10/00 04:16 AM Re: Toronto: Spanish restaurants, Brian?
elfroggy27 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/20/00
Posts: 23
Loc: Fort Worth, TX, USA
Not quite NYC, but I just ate at a great Spanish place in Dallas called Cafe Madrid. It has a great atmosphere and very authentic food at reasonable prices. They have paella on the weekends and about 30 different tapas to choose from, as well as good sangria and even tasty cafe con leche - what a great break from the same old starbucks! Also, even though there was a long wait outside, the waiter left us alone and let us have a long and leisurely dinner, we even had to request the check. Highly recommended!

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#57753 - 09/10/00 07:55 AM Re: Toronto: Spanish restaurants, Brian?
rgf Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/20/00
Posts: 666
Loc: New York, New York
How Spanish, to have to REQUEST the check! Now if only restaurants in other places would imitate the Spanish style: order straight up, serve the food SOON, and then let them have sobremesa for as long as they want!

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#57754 - 09/10/00 12:25 PM Re: Toronto: Spanish restaurants, Brian?
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 9080
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
rgf, with regards to your question about Spanish restaurants in New York City, my ladyfriend and I went there for a 4-day weekend over her birthday in March. What fun we had!!! Stayed in my sister's one-bedroom, but very nice flat in Chelsea (you wouldn't believe how much she and her husband were paying per month in rent -- or maybe you would!).

Anyway, for my ladyfriend's birthday dinner we went to a place that was in all the tour guides called "Toledo". And yes, it was absolutely Spanish!! This place was elegant!! WOW! I felt so out of place in my jeans, tennis shoes, and short-sleeved button-down shirt, but we happened upon it by chance after a long day of walking/touring at about 8pm. Luckily, it wasn't too busy and didn't need a reservation. They had chandeliers everywhere, dimly lighted, big dining room with many/ONLY Spaniards dignitaries sitting about, speaking in their castellano and catalan. It was the same with our tuxedo'd camarero/waiter. We had the most wonderful/authentic Spanish meal AND REALLY PAID FOR IT TOO!!! We both agreed that it was the MOST expensive meal we'd ever had in our lives. I probably shouldn't say, but what the heck. With tip, it was about $180. I honestly didn't care because it was in a beautiful restaurant, real Spanish food, AND, most important, my ladyfriend's birthday. I had pollo al ajillo and my ladyfriend had the ternera. It was located just across the street from The Empire State Building. This was the night AFTER we went to see the Broadway play "Annie Get Your Gun" on Time's Square. GREAT weekend we had. Alas, the sister and husband have since moved to south-of-London and I/we probably won't go back to NYC anytime soon ($$$).

Saludos, MadridMan
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#57755 - 09/10/00 02:00 PM Re: Toronto: Spanish restaurants, Brian?
rgf Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/20/00
Posts: 666
Loc: New York, New York
wow, that IS one helluva $$$ dinner, especially with pollo as a main course. Everyone tells me MARICHU over by the UN bldg is the place where all the SPA. folk go... basque food, basque food!! MM, if you ever want to go back to NYC i'll give you my hints on how to do it first class but CHEAP. I'm an expert at that!

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#57756 - 09/11/00 10:01 AM Re: Toronto: Spanish restaurants, Brian?
Brian Goldthorp Offline
Member

Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 43
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
We were using Penelope Casas' "Tapas: the Little Dishes of Spain" on the weekend and I noticed that at the back of it she has a list of favourite tapas bars by city across Spain, and also in some of the larger U.S. cities. The book was published in 1985 (I checked on the "All Spain Market," MM!) so perhaps many of them (especially in the U.S.) don't exist any more, but you never know.

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#57757 - 09/11/00 10:42 AM Re: Toronto: Spanish restaurants, Brian?
Jen Offline
Member

Registered: 08/01/00
Posts: 217
Loc: Chicago
In Chicago, just to name a few, there's Cafe Ibérico, on LaSalle. There's Arco de Cuchieros on hmm, not sure if it's Halsted or Broadway, near Belmont. There's Tapas Barcelona in Evanston(just north of the city where Northwestern U is) on Chicago Ave. There's also Cafe Babareeba, which is corporate owned but it's ok, as far as Spanish places in the US go. None of these places are totally authentic, but one can go for a taste of Spain.

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